Guy Williams and Be Precise claim the Hasseroeder Speed Derby at Hickstead from strong challenge by Pippa Funnell and The Tournaline Rose
Guy Williams, one of the hardest working riders in British show jumping, achieved an ambition at Hickstead on Saturday when he and Adele Be Precise won the Hasseroeder Speed Derby.
The man from Kent had been in the top three no less than five times before this year.
“I was despairing of ever getting my head in front,” he said.
In the event, he overtook the long-time leaders, Pippa Funnell and the three-times Eventing Grand Prix champion, The Tourmaline Rose, before having to withstand a challenge from last year’s Swedish winners, Jens Fredricson and RS Isac.
And it was a tremendous challenge, too. Jens and his 18-year-old chesnut were up on the clock until the Swede took a couple of extra strides to the final oxer, to finish lessthan 1sec in arrears.
“She’s a really careful horse. She’s a bit better than a speed horse, but not quite good enough for top grands prix,” said Guy, who has been riding the 11-year-old daughter of Louella Inschallah for three years and was gaining her biggest ever victory with her.
“I love riding here. The crowd always seems to get behind me,” he added. There was also an entertaining jump-off for the Hasseroeder Trophy, which was headed by two former Horse & Hound Foxhunter finalists on John Popely’s Luidam and Robert Smith on Marius Claudius.
These two were having a good warm-up before leaving for Rotterdam to be part of the British Nations Cup team next weekend.
Although this was qualifier for tomorrow’s Derby, John Popely does not intend to jump Luidam in the class.
“He could very well be a championship team horse in the future and I wouldn’t try him in a specialised class like that until he’s in his teens,” he said.
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For full results from Hickstead visit www.hickstead.co.uk/results
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Don’t miss our daily online show jumping and dressage reports from Hickstead – read full report with pictures in next week’s Horse & Hound (on sale Thursday 29 August)